Australian Road Rider Issue 141

THE NO.1 MAGAZINE FOR TOURING Australian Road Rider is the only Australian magazine to address the technical aspects of riding and celebrate the pure enjoyment of touring. At Australian Road Rider we know that there’s nothing like the pleasure of hitting the open road and exploring our glorious country. Purchase includes the Digital Edition and News Service. Please stay in touch via our Facebook Page.

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6 Issues

in this issue

3 min
taking flight

“I’m gonna head in a direction that I haven’t before and just bloody ride” Fettling older bikes. Making them better, ironing out the things you don’t like about them. I reckon that’s all part of the bike experience. Now I’m not fussed about originality (shock horror), and I know the anoraks will be grasping at their chests reading that, but just about every bike has a flaw, perceived or otherwise, that can be changed and made better. Either personally, practically or straight-out dynamically. There’s a whole at ermarket industry that agrees with me. There has never been such a range of good stuff to add to your bike — and indeed self — in the history of motorcycling as there is today. Take LED technology for starters. Ease of fitment and efficiency…

8 min
✶ sweet ‘17 ✶

✶ BEST ✶ Cruiser • ARR140 • WINNER: HARLEY-DAVIDSON DYNA LOW RIDER S Runner-Up: Victory Octane Third Placing: Harley-Davidson Road King Harley-Davidson’s hot-streeter Low Rider S was a hands-down favourite here at ARR HQ. Editor Leech was beside himself at the dynamics and considered refinement of the bike. And he got a little carried away telling us about it in ARR #140… “Every time I rode that bike into a town, I felt like the lead in a Tarantino movie. All sinister and edgy, with gritty steel guitar strains and emerging through backlit smoke.” Oh dear me. The Victory Octane was a close second. Such a shame that Victory bit the big one. That bike deserved better. We said…“The Octane is well worth a hard look if you like it fast, hi-tech and very, very cool. And, who doesn’t?” H-D’s…

4 min
engineering hall of fame

“Fabio Taglioni came in third on Seddo’s list of all-time great motorcycle engineers” Do you ever wish you did something in your life which really made a difference? Something so iconic it defined a generation, a genre, even a nation? I can think of a dozen motorcycle engineers who did just that, but with only 800 words to argue my case, here’s my top five. John Britten was a dyslexic hippy who leveraged the family property development business to design and build a 170hp V-twin racer that humbled the factory eight-valve Ducatis at Daytona and across Europe in the early 1990s. Isolated in Christchurch but with a Masters degree in Kiwi ingenuity, Britten followed his own muse, concentrating on aerodynamics and minimising weight to build one of the most beautiful, distinctive and…

4 min
daytime believer

"...I’ve been taking advantage of every available opportunity to clock up some kays on the open road." This winter was been quite mild, and mostly dry in my neck of the woods, so there’s been plenty of ideal riding weather. I’ve always enjoyed winter riding, so I’ve been taking advantage of every available opportunity to clock up some kays on the open road. One of the advantages of riding at this time of year is that once you get away from the city surrounds and the major highways, there is way less traffic than in the warmer months. The obvious benefits of riding the back roads are they provide a smoother, less interrupted ride, and a reduced chance of enthusiastic policing! The other thing I really notice is how much the bike…

11 min
angles of attack

I’m going to start this review from the wrong end, sort of. When you read the following, keep in mind that this bike has an RRP of a dollar under 12½ grand. The reason I’m saying this upfront isn’t because the Z900 feels like it’s been built down to a price and you therefore need to cut it some slack; I’m saying it because of the opposite. It’s quite remarkable that Kawasaki can afford to sell a bike of this quality and ability for such a small amount of money. If this was a learner legal bike being sold as a loss-leader to encourage younger riders into the fold, then perhaps it’d be less surprising. But this is a proper, full-power 948cc inline-four producing 125bhp and 98.6Nm, and therefore has…

8 min
into the void

Most motorcycle riders know the Manic Street Preachers, a Welsh indie pop band that thrashed their guitars into the limelight throughout the ’90s for their hit song, “Motorcycle Emptiness”. First released in 1997, the record reached respectable chart positions across the globe and was even named the 86th best song of all time by one leading British music mag. For motorcyclists the world over, however, the song became a modern anthem: a soundtrack for the ride. I’ve listened to this track on hundreds, maybe thousands of occasions since — sometimes on repeat. In fact, I even included it in an article I wrote for ARR’s 100th Edition Special (“100 Best Riding Songs for the Road”). But truth be told, I’ve never really understood it — or rather, have never been able to fully…